If a man is married to 2 women in the US, what will happen to him?

Asked over 4 years ago - Astoria, NY

Can a man who is married to two woman in the United States be jailed under bigamy laws? Is this something courts will pursue?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Theodore W. Robinson

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Lampert. A man cannot be legally married to two women at the same time, since the second marriage is void from the outset. Actually, you could punish him a lot more by keeping him married to both, and letting both of them know of about his other marriage. They'll do a much better job of punishing him than the justice system could ever do.

    If this has happened, you could also contact the local prosecutor's office and report him.

    Good luck.

  2. David Alexander Browde

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . What will happen depends upon the state in which the case occurs. In New York, a second marriage is not void, but voidable.

  3. Jeffrey B. Lampert

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . Bigamy is a crime. Jail is one of the punishments, but it is typically not imposed, as there is rarely enough time, jail space and money to house the perpetrator of a non-violent crime.

    But, to be precise, the man can not be married to 2 women. That is a legal impossibility. He can be married to just one at any given time, and the marriage to the 2nd woman is void.

  4. Michael Douglas Shafer

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Mr. Lampert should thank Mr. Robinson for his confirmation of an obvious answer. It is impossible to be married to two women at the same time, the second marriage is not valid.

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